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Rabbit Proof Fence Case Study

jclarke | Wednesday April 16, 2014

Categories: GCSE, WJEC GCSE, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Rabbit Proof Fence, Genres & Case Studies, Adventure, Biography, Drama, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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In this resource we will consider the film Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) and explore some aspects of its film style, by which we mean the choices made the filmmakers in terms of how they deploy sound and vision. As such, we are considering the storytelling devices with which the film expresses a range of meanings and values embodied within the drama.

Through the way that the stylistic choices of the film’s producers’ (writer/director/producer/actors/camera/sound/music) function we are able to determine a range of themes and issues in the film text.  By responding to the film in this way, we have a chance to think about the connection that exists in all films between creative elements (film style) and thematic issues (that relate to the real world). To make a film is to express a set of ideas and ways of looking at ‘the world’.

In this resource, we will:

  • Identify something of the film’s cultural context
  • Analyse two key scenes [in terms of the micro-level features of mise-en-scene]. In doing this, we can make the connection between the film’s micro and macro-elements. We will also give some consideration to the film’s reception upon its original release.


With the film Rabbit Proof Fence we have a text that is entirely anchored in its relationship to a specific context of time and place. The film, like others that our resources have explored dramatizes ideas around freedom, authority and identity, focusing on young people as the key characters that embody these ideas. Like The Devil’s Backbone and The Wave, Rabbit Proof Fence is based upon events that actually occurred.

The film begins with a text card in the very opening moments of its running time and this piece of information provides the audience the essential piece of ‘background information’ they need to know about the Australian government’s policy in the early twentieth century of removing mixed race (black and white...

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